Chennai is facing an acute water crisis after water tankers in the city have gone off the roads since Monday (15 October). This comes after restrictions were imposed on extraction of groundwater. Additionally, the closing of bore-wells in Poonamallee have triggered the protest by suppliers.
As many as 4,136 tankers have gone off duty and have parked the water tankers across areas like Poonamallee High Road and Rajiv Gandhi Salai. The protest is being led by Tamil Nadu Private Water Tanker Operators Association, The Hindu has reported. The Revenue Department has come down hard on illegal extraction of groundwater and has shut down many bore-wells as a result of the move. The officials have been citing an order of the Madras High Court dated 2014 to justify their action.
Those blocks of underground water that are being exploited and are critical are being prohibited, and categorical allocation of blocks are being done for extraction of water. The state government has been directed by the court to ask officials to file complaints with the police, thereby making such extractions a ‘non-bailable offence’.
Apartments and complexes that depend on water supply in large quantities will be affected and offices may also have to shut down. Other associations from Coimbatore, Tirupur, Nilgiris will be joining the strike.